Blog Archive
« Elijah Considers Consequences for His Brother | Main | September 17, 2018 Field Notes Released »

March 26, 2019 Field Notes Released

Writing from Nairobi, Kenya
March 26, 2019

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Leads a Conversation in Rwanda

Bishop Selestine Seburikoko (LMA-STH) and Dwight Schettler (AoR) present the small catechism-based "Go and Be Reconciled: What Does This Mean?"

Grief and loss never disappear in this fallen and broken world. They just become a part of you, a little less painful day by day. Although the genocide in Rwanda was twenty-five years ago, it still comes up frequently in conversation. National reconciliation programs have helped enable Rwandans to freely articulate and share their own accounts of what happened and how it impacted them. Bishop Selestine of The Lutheran Mission in Africa - Synod of Thousand Hills (LMA-STH) recognized, though, that his own pastors were ill-equipped to walk with their people in addressing the trauma and repercussions that echoed down the years. Bishop Selestine presented a request to The LCMS to provide training in Christ-centered counseling. 

After exploring some options, Shauen contacted the LCMS's Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AoR,, which he had learned about in seminary and then met again a few years ago when AoR presented at regional operations meetings with his fellow directors. Dwight Schettler and Ted Kober from AoR worked with LCMS missionary Rev. Dr. Mark Rabe to form a program that would draw on the Rwandan culture and expertise within the church to present relevant conversation points and realistic examples. Last week, Dwight, Ted, Mark, and LCMS missionary Megan Mantey, a professional trauma counselor, fulfilled Bishop Selestine's request. 

AoR's program, Go and Be Reconciled: What Does This Mean? provides a catechism-based foundation for the reconciliation found in Christ and then shared with others. A second program, Coaching People through Conflict equips participants in guiding others through their conflicts. With considerable research in advance of the trip, translated materials and handouts, visits in the area to learn and discover local case studies, and the cultural interpretation provided by experienced missionaries, AoR fostered an environment of mutual learning for the nearly two dozen pastors and their wives who attended the program at the church's headquarters in Rwamagana. 

Pastors and Wives of The Lutheran Mission in Africa - Synod of Thousand Hills work in small-group time during the Ambassadors of Reconciliation conference

Bishop Selestine shared that the visits made in the area before and after “left us encouraged, confident and connected.”  For the pastors, the conference itself was their first ever opportunity to all gather together as a community and approach the issue of reconciliation theologically. For the wives, most of whom had never met each other before, it was an opportunity to build a new community and gain insight and skills for their own work in the congregation. For our missionaries and AoR, the conference expanded our wonder at God's amazing act of love in reconciliation through Jesus Christ and how that flows through the body of Christ to His people - seen now through the eyes of our Rwandan brothers and sisters. After the conference, Bishop Selestine wrote, “We experienced love and the hand of God, touching our wounds, pains and past bad memories into the new proclaimed forgiveness to us and therefore new life and ministry in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Praise the Lord for His reconciling love, the Ambassadors of Reconciliation program which points us to the foot of the cross, Dwight, Ted, and our missionaries Mark Rabe and Megan Mantey!

Although we received some support for this program from both Ambassadors of Reconciliation and congregations in The LCMS, we moved ahead even without full funding in hand and the program currently has a deficit. If you feel drawn to supporting this work, please send a check to The LCMS according to the instructions later in this newsletter, marking the memo line "61051 - Rwanda Pastor ContEd."  


Photos in Focus


Prayer Requests

For wisdom, discernment, and patience for Shauen and Krista in their work as spouses, parents, and missionaries

For the missionaries, projects, and relationships Shauen oversees for the church

For Shauen's upcoming class on global migration and diaspora christian communities

For The Lutheran Churches in Mozambique and Malawi as they recover from cyclone Idai 


In Praise

For Shauen's successful meetings last week with the other directors in Taiwan

For Elijah's successful tonsillectomy last month and his quick recovery

For Jeremiah's hairline fracture in his femur healing quickly (and continuing to heal)

For opportunities opening up for a new church plant in Murang’a, Kenya

For healthy, safe, and thriving children
Financial Support
Give Now through the LCMS Website
Give Now through the Mission Central Website


To support this work financially, please give a recurring
or one-time gift securely through one of the Give Now
buttons above or online at or 
Make checks payable to "The LCMS" and mark the memo line “Trump-East Africa” to send a tax-deductible gift through one of the following:
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
PO Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
Mission Central
40718 Highway E 16
Mapleton, IA 51034